Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc  (Read 936 times)

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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2020, 01:43:22 PM »
Quote from: IchoTolot
A 128 pixel range leads to it being easier to measure in most cases as it confirms to the 16x16 block grid.

So I think 128 pxels would be a good range to try out.

Thanks for supporting my suggestion, IchoTolot! :thumbsup: I didn't actually expect anyone to take it seriously, but you made a good point I hadn't thought of. ;)

Quote from: IchoTolot
Also for any terrain that is being created inside the beam while the laser is still going on, I would say it gets destroyed immediately with no effect on the laser beam.

:lem-mindblown: I had never thought of that either!

Good thing the Laserer has a 45° angle, so it doesn't line up with the Builder perfectly like the Fencer does. Otherwise, I would already have seen the levels coming where you fry away an entire Builder staircase as the lemming is building it, playing a new twist on the old "flying Builder trick" (where you constantly dig away the staircase to make the Builder "fly sideways" without leaving any terrain behind).
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2020, 09:18:03 PM »
+1 for 128px

#TEAM128 :lemcat:

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2020, 09:22:05 PM »
128 allows a lemming at nearly the bottom of a 160-tall level to affect terrain nearly at the top, or, with suitable terrain, to carve a path all the way up there, with a single skill usage.

I still think that 80 is a good length to choose to prevent the skill being overpowered, though I could get behind 100 as a compromise (or 96 if you want a mutiple of 16).

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2020, 09:41:11 PM »
128 allows a lemming at nearly the bottom of a 160-tall level to affect terrain nearly at the top, or, with suitable terrain, to carve a path all the way up there, with a single skill usage.

How is this any different from being able to do the same with a single Fencer?

Also, surely making the skill as powerful as possible is a good thing. A shorter range just means that if a designer wants the skill to be able to affect terrain near the top of the level, then other changes to the layout, or multiple uses of the skill (more potential for backroutes), are necessary.

Offline Gronkling

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2020, 09:51:32 PM »
I also think it should be fairly short, as I think destroying terrain from a distance without requiring a lemming moving is already incredibly powerful, and it letting it reach across the vertical span of a regular level increases it's overpoweredness.
I'd be happy with 32px-64px
« Last Edit: December 23, 2020, 10:29:18 PM by Gronkling »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2020, 09:55:38 PM »
How is this any different from being able to do the same with a single Fencer?

I'm not saying that being able to ascend that high with one skill is inherently bad. I'm just trying to get across a sense of how powerful this skill is.

Quote
Also, surely making the skill as powerful as possible is a good thing. A shorter range just means that if a designer wants the skill to be able to affect terrain near the top of the level, then other changes to the layout, or multiple uses of the skill (more potential for backroutes), are necessary.

If you have a short-range laser (or bridge or platform) then you can create the effect of a longer one by putting two or more together, as you point out. The other way around doesn't work: if you have a long-range laser and need it to be shorter, there's nothing you can do except expand the terrain. And while that is always available as a solution, I'm worried that it will lead to a glut of mega-large levels that didn't need to be mega-large.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2020, 10:31:35 PM »
If you have a short-range laser (or bridge or platform) then you can create the effect of a longer one by putting two or more together, as you point out. The other way around doesn't work: if you have a long-range laser and need it to be shorter, there's nothing you can do except expand the terrain. And while that is always available as a solution, I'm worried that it will lead to a glut of mega-large levels that didn't need to be mega-large.

Fair point, I can see where you're coming from with that; i.e. levels needing to be much bigger to attenuate the skill is a concern, for sure.

Regarding supposed "overpoweredness", though; there is such a thing as a skill being too "underpowered" as well, so that it sees little (if any) use at all (think Swimmer, Disarmer, and to some extent Shimmier - the latter of which will likely see much more use if the Slider skill happens). All of these skills are far too reliant on level design to be any use beyond what's intended, meaning that they only really lend themselves to use in very prescriptive, by-the-numbers levels.

My main concern with an underpowered Laserblaster is that it will be too similar to the old "lazy workers" gimmick (which stopped Bashers, Miners, Builders, etc. short of where they would normally reach, in effect giving their range a limit). This is just yucky and frustrating, and I'm really glad it's not a thing any more. Let's not re-introduce it via a woefully limited skill which has way more potential by being closer to the "overpowered" end of the spectrum.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2020, 11:23:36 PM »
In the next update, I am going to try the following. Anything not explicitly mentioned here will stay as is for this update - it does NOT mean it is not up for discussion, nor that the behavior in previous builds is ruled out; all it means is "this is what we'll try out in the next update". I do not in any way expect this will necesserially be "final".

Range will be limited to 112px on each axis. (Not just as "a compromise between both suggestions" - 96 felt too short, and 128 is still infinite in practice on a default-height level unless fairly close to the bottom.)
Time limit will be abolished.
Reverting to walker will happen if, for 10 consecutive frames, nothing useful is achieved (due to max range, exiting level boundaries, or hitting indestructible terrain).
Reverting to faller will still happen, as it does now, if the ground under the laserer is removed.

Offline Gronkling

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2020, 11:28:12 PM »
A shorter range doesn't make it useless, it still lets you effect terrain from across gaps and from a distance without requiring you to need to have a lemming directly there. It's use with a shorter range would make it less of "another tunnelling skill" and make it more unique I think. (I don't think my suggestion will make it through tho since mine is the shortest by quite far)

And shimmiers and swimmers are super useful ;) I love both these skills compared to some other new ones

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2020, 04:44:53 AM »
And shimmiers and swimmers are super useful ;) I love both these skills compared to some other new ones

I love them, too :lemcat: All the skills are awesome, really. We all know that, right? :lem-shocked:

I particularly like the Swimmer, which is why I think it needs to be able to exit water from underneath; this would give it much more scope as a movement skill.

Meanwhile, Shimmiers have become way more useful recently with the potential addition of the Slider and the Laserer. Before then, I have to confess that I found it difficult to find creative ways to use them (from a design POV) beyond simply "being able to move across gaps in the floor, providing that the ceiling is low enough". I have seen some very creative uses of the Shimmier, though, particularly in NieSch's levels.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2020, 05:11:38 AM »
I'm good with testing out the 112 pixel range as namida has implemented. I really do think going lower than 80 would be an excessive nerf and would begin to reach the point where you'd have to begin specifically shaping terrain to bring the laserer within range of the thing you want it to hit without making it obvious to the player that that's what you're doing.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2020, 01:56:36 PM »
Now that wrap isn't happening, why not simply have an (effectively) infinite range for the Laserer, i.e. to the edge of the level screen, however big that happens to be? That's by far preferable to seeing it arbitrarily stop halfway through a block of terrain.

It would also render the "large levels" concern a moot point, since there would be no need to inflate the level to allow for a larger (but still limited) range.

And, as far as attenuation goes, there are plenty of ways to achieve this from a design POV (OWWs, steel, water, enforcing the need to use terrain at a higher part of the level [so that the player would cancel the skill at the correct point], simply not having terrain beyond where it's needed, etc.), whereas giving the skill a limited range is as good as forcing attenuation to a point which may not be useful to player or designer.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 07:08:21 PM by WillLem »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2020, 02:21:14 PM »
Now that wrap isn't happening, why not simply have an (effectively) infinite range for the Laserer, i.e. to the edge of the level screen, however big that happens to be? That's by far preferable to seeing it arbitrarily stop halfway through a block of terrain.

Because gameplay is far more important than flavour explanations of why something happens. Why is a builder able to create bricks out of thin air, but no more than 12? Why does a climber (or slider) insist on climbing (sliding down) every wall they encounter? I don't really care; what matters is that they are great and well-designed skills for use in puzzles.

Quote
It would also render the "large levels" concern a moot point

...and in its place, you have levels that are forced to be covered in steel, to prevent one skill from ruining the puzzle. When that happens, isn't it maybe a hint that the design of that one skill is the actual problem?

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2020, 03:04:01 PM »
I can only really test the new range after I came back from my hometown.

But I really wouldn't go lower than 112.

Currently the laserer has the following things distinguishing it from the fencer:

- Double the elevation.
- Speed.
- Range to the point it can go through multiple floors / Independance from the terrain in the middle.

Limiting the range to 80 or even around 40 as Gronkling suggested would nearly completely take out the 3rd point as it would being to struggle to go through a wall and its main selkling point the range would fall away. I think this is missing the main point of the skill!

It and the projectile skills provide a new feature all the other skills don't really have until now: Range. We should rather adding more than less of it.

If we take it away we will inevitably go close to the existing stuff again and that's why I'm very much against larger range/arc reductions to these skills.

We should be a bit bolder in terms of range/arc and go a bit out of the box if we want something different from the existing skills. Otherwise we just end upwith another fencer/bomber/builder.

112 seems good for the next test. I highly would advocate against a further reduction and rather go upwards by 16 pixels or so if a change is happening, but I still think there should be a limit.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 03:15:22 PM by IchoTolot »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer range / etc
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2020, 03:07:49 PM »
Why is a builder able to create bricks out of thin air, but no more than 12?

Builders have rucksacks, which are big enough for 12 bricks ;P

Anyway, that's not really the point. A laser arbitrarily stopping halfway through a block of terrain just doesn't look or feel right. When it continues to the edge of the level, that seems to make more sense and be generally more satisfying, even putting aside "flavour explanations".

...and in its place, you have levels that are forced to be covered in steel, to prevent one skill from ruining the puzzle.

Steel is not the only way to stop a Laserer. Here's that list again:

2) One-way walls
3) Water
4) Designing the level so that the terrain beyond the part which needs lasering needs to be used for something else, so the player is compelled to interrupt the laserer (with, say, a Walker or any other cancelling skill) - this could even form part of the puzzle
5) Simply not having terrain beyond the part which needs lasering at that particular point in the level

So there are at least 5 4 ways to attenuate an effectively infinite laser. I'm sure people cleverer than me could come up with even more.

Furthermore, is it not the case that all levels need to be designed such that the skills presented can be used in a manner that is intended? No skill is exempt from this, all are prone to backroutes, and all skills can potentially cause design difficulties.

It and the projectile skills provide a new feature all the other skills don't really have until now: Range. We should rather adding more than less of it.

Amen! 8-)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 07:07:55 PM by WillLem »